MGT 758: Business Initiation and Entrepreneurship
Time: Monday 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm FH 250B
Instructor: Dr. Susan Peters
Office hours: Monday 4 – 6; Wednesday:1 - 2:30or by appointment.
Required Text: None
Reading, cases and other work will be handed out in class or posted on Blackboard.
Please note: for those wanting a little more structure, there are any number of inexpensive (under
$30 new) books available at local bookstores or on-line. Many of these sell for a couple dollars,
plus shipping used. Books like Small Business Kit For Dummies (Harroch), Start your Own
Business (Lesonsky), and Six-Week Start-Up (Abrams) are good. For those with less confidence in
just one area of business there are specialty book on small business marketing, small business
accounting and others.
Francis Marion University School of Business Learning Mission
Accredited at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, the School of Business at Francis Marion
University has a mission of teaching, research, and service. Nearly our entire faculty holds a doctorate in the
area in which they teach. Our small classroom environment promotes interaction among students and
faculty. We teach students to think logically, communicate effectively, develop an understanding and
appreciation of the global business environment, and be guided by high ethical standards. Our
students develop conceptual and analytical skills needed to be successful leaders in both private and public
• Our students will have conceptual and analytical skills to analyze and solve managerial problems.
• Our students will be able to effectively communicate orally and in writing.
• Our students will have an understanding of ethical perspectives and be guided by high ethical standards.
• Our students will have an understanding and appreciation of the global business environment.
• Our students will utilize creativity in the solving of managerial problems.
• Our students will know the core concepts within each business discipline: accounting, business economics,
finance, management, management information systems and marketing.
Course objectives and teaching overview:
This course is designed to provide the students with an understanding of the special challenges and
opportunities of starting and managing a small business. The spirit of entrepreneurship will be used to
integrate the diverse disciplines of marketing, fianace and management necessary to initiate and
successfully operate a small business.
The course will be taught in a lecture/discussion format. The lectures will be tied to the assigned readings of
the class period, but will NOT be a rereading of the material. Students will be expected to know (that is,
tested) on both lecture and text material.
Your grade will be based upon the following criteria, further explained in the following sections.
Entrepreneur notebook 200
Business plan 300
Final exam 300
Case studies/Participation 200
Letter grades will be assigned based on the following scale:
A 90% and above B 80 – 89.9 %
C 70 – 79.9% F Below 70
+ and – grades will be assigned by university policy as appropriate.
The final exam will be a comprehensive exam. Exact format and requirements will be discussed later in the
Most weeks you will be given an assignment to complete and add to your notebook. These assignments will
have various formats – reflective questions to answer, problems to solve, data to acquire. In most cases this
work will be part of the following week’s discussion or small group activities.
You may set this up in any format that you like. A three ring binder or folder works well as you can add to
and rearrange as needed. An electronic format is also acceptable. Whatever format you have selected,
please bring your material with you to use in class.
Grading: Sections of the notebook will be reviewed and graded individually as well as the notebook as a
whole. Sections (as well as the entire notebook) will be graded as follows:
A. Outstanding – complete and better than expected, something extra, especially creative,
innovative, thorough, etc.
B. Adequate – complete and about what was expected
C. Okay – either complete, but somewhat below average OR adequate coverage but parts
missing OR a little of each
D. Marginal – more missing or poorer quality than “okay.”
Each student will work upon an individual MODIFIED business plan for a potential Pee Dee area business.
(Further information will be shared in class).
While I will not be reviewing and grading these throughout the semester, please feel free to seek advice or
assistance at any time. I would be happy to review what you have and comment on it. I will not review in
the last two weeks before the due date however I can answer questions and give general advice.
A short presentation will be given at the end of the semester. Grading will be along the same criteria as the
entrepreneur notebook discussed above.
I cannot stress enough the importance of coming to class, being prepared, and taking part in discussions
and other classroom exercises. Since this class does NOT require a text, much of the material you get will
be what is covered in the classroom. ATTENDANCE does not equal PARTICIPATION, however, if you
aren’t here, you aren’t participating!
Nearly every week, a case study will be assigned to be read and prepared. There will not be specific
questions given as a rule. Students should be prepared to identify and discuss the problem or problems
presented in the case and offer suggestions.
Dishonesty of any form will not be tolerated. This includes submission of any work other than your own,
cheating on exams, plagiarism, forging absence excuses and the like. Dishonesty results in an immediate
zero on that assignment with no chance for make-up. All forms of cheating will be turned over to appropriate
authorities. Please see the permissible use of information section below.
Permissible use of information:
At the graduate level, this should not be an issue, but I will briefly review:
1. It is most likely possible to find a lot of information the Internet or elsewhere that can be slightly
adapted to fit the requisites of this project or even complete business plans. Please understand
that I am aware of this, have found many of the Websites already, and use them extensively in my
consulting business. I am also really good at finding new ones. More importantly, I will fail you–
with no chance of make-up – on the assignment should I find that this happens. s
2. While nearly all students will resist point 1 above, there are some who cannot be bothered
paraphrasing certain information. The penalty is just a severe for one plagiarized paragraph as for
the whole work.
3. On the other hand, some information is hard to paraphrase. A good example of this is economic
data or tables or charts. I am perfectly comfortable with you using “cut-and-paste” for this
information PROVIDED you indicate your source at the point that you use it (e.g., in the caption
under a chart, in parentheses, etc.).
4. In some cases, certain data will be fine to include, as is, in an appendix – for example, the code,
rules or law about a certain industry. Just remember to clearly cite your reference.
5. I realize what constitutes plagiarism and fair use is sometimes difficult to determine. Please ask
me if you have any questions.
6. General use items should be cited in a bibliography.
If you are a student with special needs, please notify me as soon as possible so that I can make necessary
TENTATIVE Schedule: MGT 758, Fall 2011
Week Topic(s) Case Study(tentative)
1 (8/22) Introduction; Business plans; pathways to
2 (8/29) Creativity Coastal Healthcare
3 (9/5) Holiday No class
4 (9/12) Customers
5 (9/19) Competition; industry analysis How Sweet it Isn’t
6 (9/26) Product/service EMR
7 (10/3) Pricing and promotion JST Press
7 (10/10) Fall Break No class
8 (10/17) Organization and team Fame
9(10/24) Human Resources TBA
10 (10/31) Location, leasing, Myers & Morrison
11 (11/7) Budgets TBA
12 (11/14) Financial Statements Misdeeds at the Red Pony
13 ( 11/21) Financial Management Slavic treasures
14 (11/28) Getting money Cyberplay
15 (12/5) Ethics; buying a business, International TBA